Jeweler Lindsay Jenkins works on some of her pieces.

Ocean provides inspiration for jewelry maker

Lindsay Jenkins will show her work at two craft fairs

When Lindsay Jenkins was first dating Josh, her future husband, he used to bring her the beautiful seashells he brought up in his nets. These little treasures sparked a hobby which has since turned into a passion.

Jenkins manipulates wire and works in semi-precious stones, crystals and findings to fashion necklaces, earrings and other pieces of jewelry.

From the large coils of sterling silver or 14k gold vermeil, Jenkins tempers custom handcrafted pieces each with a natural theme.

Her husband is a commercial fisherman and she spent a lot of time on boats. With this came a loves of the ocean and the sea life, the pearls, starfish and shells beneath the waves.

“I used to have a hard time with inspiration, now I’m focused on nature, ocean-oloured themes, shells, pearls, lots of nautical materials,” said Jenkins.

She strives to do most of her own work, hammering the silver and fashioning the components by hand. She doesn’t just simply thread stones on wire.

“Everything is made by me.”

One of her most endearing themes is the tiny bird’s nests she fashions with natural pearls as the eggs. These are extremely popular as gifts for mothers as these symbolize love, family and closeness.

Jenkins comes to jewelry making through her need to create. In high school, at Edward Milne Community School, she loved art — all of it — the painting, drawing, sculpture, everything.

“When I found this it just clicked,” she said. And it still does. When she is in her work space creating she gets into a meditative state and comes out of it refreshed and fulfilled.

Three years ago she decided to take her hobby more seriously and has been going to craft markets throughout the Christmas season. She has been selling online for about five years and the craft markets give her a chance to get to know her customers and get their feedback. She is a stay-at-home mom and she is doing just about as much as she can right now. With two young sons, she looks forward to the time she can spend “meditating.”

Jenkins also has a good business making special one-of-a-kind bridal and bridesmaid pieces like tiaras, hairpins and flowers.

She calls her business Sunshine Jewls (www.sunshinejewls.com) and she will be showing and selling her work at the Earthly Good Craft Market at the Prestige convention centre, Nov. 12-13, and at the all Sooke Arts & Crafts Show held at the Sooke Community Hall, Nov. 18-20. And if that isn’t enough she will also attend markets in Langford, Saanich and Vancouver.

“I’m really excited for it,” said Jenkins referring to the show at the Prestige Oceanfront Hotel. “The organizer did a lot of work and I have a lot of confidence it will be really well done.”